Role of Care-giving and Family Support for a Mesothelioma Patient

Role of Care-giving and Family Support for a Mesothelioma Patient
Role of Care-giving and Family Support for a Mesothelioma Patient
May 14, 2016

Those suffering from mesothelioma often find themselves in double jeopardy. The first is that this disease often finds its expression in the elderly who are often too frail to take care of themselves and the second is that stage IV of this disease is probably incurable and treatment is focused on managing the symptoms.

Brief insights into mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer which is associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos. It affects the lining of the chest cavity, lungs and abdomen. Mesothelioma has a high latency period (the length of time before symptoms begins to manifest) of between twenty and fifty years. This is one of the reasons why most of the diagnosis made is among people above fifty years.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Family meetings can be helpful

Really, nobody can take care of you like your family because they are probably the only ones that can do it for free. It is not just enough to send such people to the hospital and leave them there. Seeing familiar faces around helps psychologically, this is why family meeting is important to decide how best to take care of the sick member and give them some sort of mental support. The reassuring voice of a family member will do a lot to the patient that cannot be compared to drugs.

Caregivers can be an alternative

It is understandable that some families are very busy or very frequent travelers and may be almost impossible to get them around. At such cases, it is good to employ the services of professional caregivers.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

However, it should not only end there, these people will need to be monitored regularly by a family member to be sure they are doing the work for which they have been recruited because it doesn’t take long for complacency to set in when people are not duly placed on checks.

Mesothelioma patients face several challenges

Besides the obvious fact that the patients are already down with mesothelioma, there are other sublime challenges that they are likely to face and one of them is depression.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

Depression sets in when the patient feels abandoned especially if the family members are nowhere to be found. One of the down sides of depression is that the patient begins to have suicidal tendencies.

Besides depression, there is the risk of malnutrition because people in that age range sometimes forget to take care of themselves properly. This further complicates the situation. There is also the risk of opportunistic infections that would result from poor sanitary conditions. These are some of the reasons why it is necessary for a family member or a good care giver to be around.

Treatment can be effective at stage one

The success of treatment will depend on the point at which diagnosis was made. If diagnosis came during stage I of the infection where the disease is still localized, treatment is possible but if there is a delay or due to ignorance at the early onset this diagnosis was made at the stage IV of this disease, then, the best that can be done for the patient is to try to alleviate the various symptoms.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Article highlights

  • Mesothelioma is an asbestos associated form of cancer.
  • The disease is one of the rare cancer forms.
  • Presence of family members is of great help to the patient.
  • Depression sets in if the patient feels abandoned.
  • One of the down sides of depression is suicidal tendencies.
  • Where family members are very busy, the services of professional caregivers can be employed.
  • When patient has a poor sanitation, opportunistic infections may follow.
  • Treatment is possible if the disease was detected early
  • Mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and chest cavities
  • High latency period of mesothelioma affects its early diagnosis

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